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20121202
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to handle the fiscal cliff? 48% believe president obama and republicans will reach an agreement but 43% say they won't. meantime, president obama is giving a stern warning to republicans who may be trying to use the debt ceiling as leverage. >> if congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, which by the way we have never done in our history until we did it last year, i will not play that game. >> we should say that the president and house speaker john boehner did speak by phone yesterday. that was the first time in a week. no one is saying what the conversation was about. shortly after that call treasury secretary tim geithner went on cnbc and said the white house is ready to go off the cliff. >> if republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff in. >> absolutely. there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest. it's only 2%. >> i want to bring in "usa today" b
, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff in. >> absolutely. there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest. it's only 2%. >> i want to bring in "usa today" bureau chief and welcome to both of you. where are we in these negotiations, susan? >> i think the most encouraging thing was they agreed to the to characterize the phone call. the last time around the characterization of the phone call became a controversy in itself. i think it's pretty clear that the white house and republicans think the white house hand on this is strengthening. we see the polls that you mention, pew polls this week say americans trust the president more, assume if a deal is not reached -- trust the white house more, think if a deal isn't reached it, will be the fault of republicans and it is in fact easier for democrats to go over the fiscal cliff than it is for republicans because then all those tax cuts from the republicans are swept away. but it's too early. it's only december 6. we've got until december 31st and in washington that's a long
the fiscal cliff crisis. they will also meet with john boehner. boehner counter proposal yesterday. $600 billion in cuts in entitlement and $250 billion in changes in way the government changes inflation that would impact social security. let me bring in the national journal from the editor. good morning. i want to talk to you about this republican proposal saying republicans in congress want to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates. we won't be able to achieve a significant balanced approach to the deficit. it does have some revenue in it, even though it's not from tax increases. so what does this opening offer say about where we are in these negotiations? >> well, it seems very difficult to imagine that we're going to be getting to a deal that will handle everything that needs to be addressed before the end of the year. i think the first main thing that needs to be addressed is the question of the tax cuts expiring. and for the obama administration, the question is, is it in their interest to trade tax cuts for the wealthy? increase for the wealthy fo
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